Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Escape Act

It seems like these "Escape Act" victories are becoming more and more commonplace for the Mets. Each of their last three victories are games they could have just as easily lost if certain things had broken out in certain ways. Last night's game, for one, seemed like many before it in Turner Field, the one that came to me in particular was from 2005, wherein Braden Looper successfully became the first relief pitcher ever to blow two saves in one game, allowing the Braves to come back in the 9th and then again in the 10th innings to win. After Delgado butchered Omar Infante's popup with 2 outs, you could see the inevitable conclusion. Yunel Escobar nailed a ringing RBI single, and then came Larry, primed to jerk one out of the park and stick it to the Mets once again. You can change the bullpen all you want, but you can't stop that Friggin' Larry.

Or not. Larry hit it well, and if you were listening to Howie Rose's call, you might have had a heart attack, but Church flagged it down and the Mets had somehow managed to sweep the 2 game series in Atlanta, thereby officially giving them more wins in Turner Field after one month of the 2009 season than they managed in all of 2008. It was, for the most part, another disgusting victory for the Mets, a game that appeared to hinge more on luck and a few breaks than the actual skill of the team. Though Kenshin Kawakami gassed himself, throwing 113 pitches through 5 innings and allowing all sorts of men on base, as per usual the Mets managed to only have a 2-0 lead, more due to the tenacity of Livan Hernandez than anything else. By the 9th, it was 2-1 and the Mets once again managed to put runners on, which they likely would have stranded had Larry not actually done something helpful for the Mets for once in his life. With Reyes aboard, Murphy was sent up to bunt, which is already a dicey proposition, since we already established late last season that he's probably not a very good bunter. Murphy's bunt was, in fact, terrible, and it would have ended up with Reyes being thrown out at 2nd had Larry not thrown the ball into Center Field. That was the break the Mets needed. Two batters later, the 2-1 lead was 4-1, and it appeared the Mets were going to cruise.

By the end of the night, it appeared that had Larry not thrown that ball away and extended the rally, the Mets would have lost the game.

That's baseball, and that's how things break out sometimes, but sometimes, it's also better to be lucky than good, and what we've generally seen is that the truly good teams, the championship teams are good, but they also have a lot of good luck. Conversely, teams that don't do well have a lot of bad luck. The Mets tend to have a lot of bad luck, and it's screwed them the past two seasons.

So, back to New York, and what should be another Mets/Phillies love-fest for two nights. Should be interesting. I wonder what Ryan Howard will think when he hits one of his pop flies that usually sails out of Steroid Field II and it ends up being a fly ball out to medium-right field. I don't think Shane Victorino will be hitting any Home Runs the next two nights either, sorry, son.

It's very Francesa of me to say this, but I suppose it's the only thing to say at this point: Cannnn Johan Santana, uh, stop the powerful Philly bats and extend this, uh, little streak the Mets have going? Or, uh, will the Phillies come into New York and, uh, stick it to the Mets once again?

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